EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a synopsis provided by Coach-Net Technical and Roadside Assistance outlining the top operational RV issues. Lake Havasu City-based Coach-Net, which offers a variety of services to the RV and auto industries including RV Tech Advantage, researched more than 85,000 service calls and found the majority of the problems are preventable through proper maintenance.
Engine concerns top the list at 31.7% of the calls. “Most inoperable engines are not due to catastrophic engine failure,” says Patrick Cipres, RVIA-RVDA Master Certified Technician. “Minor problems such as those caused by incompatible coolant, a filter needing to be changed or improper fuel are the root of most calls related to chassis.” If left unattended, minor issues often lead to major ones.
Brake and Suspension Systems
Modern air brake and suspension systems result in the second most common call to Coach-Net. “Many stranded travelers simply need operational guidance,” Cipres said. “For example, when trying to level their RV, some owners unknowingly ‘dump the air’ in the suspension, causing system failure.” Reviewing the owner’s manual and checking system operation prior to use will help travelers avoid this problem.
Third on the list are batteries. Ensure they are well-maintained – even new ones. If the RV is in storage or at an RV park, charge the engine battery every 7-10 days by running the engine for an hour. If the RV is plugged into shore power, the house battery charges automatically, but check the water level weekly at a minimum. If power problems begin at a campground, question the reliability of the shore power connection.
Slide Rooms and Leveling Systems
Twenty-four percent of calls surveyed reveal the most common “house” issues are slide rooms and leveling systems that fail to retract. Many times they will stick from non-use. Avoid getting stuck during vacation, and test slide rooms beforehand to ensure they are in good working order – especially if the RV has been stored.
Electrical AC 110-Volt
Fifth on the list of concerns is overload of the electrical alternating current (AC) 110-volt. RVs are rated to operate harmoniously with the appliances outfitting them. Be careful about adding big amp draws, such as a hairdryer, a blender or coffeemaker. The roof air conditioner probably is the largest power consumer, so before switching it on “high,” turn off other appliances, or risk tripping a circuit breaker.